Ready for a Close Up, Email?

Posted by Laura Earley 

One of my responsibilities as an Email Marketing Manager here at Return Path is to manage our external newsletter program. Twice a month, our newsletter goes to all customers and prospects opted into our email marketing (which is GDPR compliant, naturally). If you’re not already receiving it—take a minute and sign up. If you work in the email marketing space, you’ll enjoy the content or your money back.*

Every few months, I try to take a step back and evaluate the design and flow of our emails. It’s easy to forget about the routine messages that our subscribers receive, but working in the email marketing space ourselves, we like to tinker and test things out. Whether it’s emojis in subject lines or puns in preheaders, you will find us pondering all things email.

Since our website got a recent refresh, it was time to evaluate the newsletter and see what was working—and what wasn’t. It’s been about a year since we last updated the look, and we wanted to simplify the current design a bit. We also wanted to feature the lead content piece more and add more real estate for the blog article section. So, what did we end up doing?

  • Included links to four blog articles instead of three by shifting the layout to one column list of three to a two column list of two
  • Removed the icons from the industry news and best practices section
  • Committed to one color for the header/lead content piece

None of these changes are groundbreaking, and the newsletter won’t seem that different. And that’s the point, I think. Incremental updates can improve your numbers without starting from scratch and redoing everything. It can be tempting to wipe everything and start over, but for most companies, that’s not realistic.

From a technical perspective, updated HTML and CSS development on the backend supports new mobile updates. Nearly 10 percent of our subscribers open our emails on mobile, with iPhone iOS 12 leading the pack, so it was important to us that we keep those users in mind with the updates. We also rather recently joined the BIMI beta program to display our icon for Yahoo/Oath subscribers, which we’re really excited about.

If you are a subscriber of ours, did you notice the updates? What do you think? What are incremental updates that you make from time to time?

*When the newsletter is free, I can make guarantees like this.

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About Laura Earley

Laura Earley is an Email Marketing Manager for Return Path, where she is responsible for managing and administering B2B email marketing. Previously, she was a Digital Marketing Production Consultant for Salesforce (formerly ExactTarget), where she designed, coded and deployed emails for the company. She has worked in the email marketing space since 2008.

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